Since they were both drafted in 2016, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and the Philadelphia Eagles Carson Wentz have been attached at the hip when it comes to comparisons. That’s understandable considering they have both been the face of their respective franchises from pretty much the start of their careers and their paths cross often with both playing in the NFC East.
While each of these organizations believed they landed themselves a new franchise quarterback, they didn’t pay the same price. Prescott, as we all know, was selected with a compensatory pick late in the fourth round at 135th overall. Wentz, however, was taken number two overall, but the Eagles didn’t initially hold that draft pick, so it came with a hefty price.
Cancelling out the fourth-round picks, in a nutshell the Eagles gave up an additional first-, second-, and third-round pick to move up six spots in the draft to select Wentz. Meanwhile, the Cowboys got Prescott from a bonus pick that resulted from letting DeMarco Murray leave (to Philadelphia even) in free agency.
Wentz’s draft spot cost the Eagles $26.7 million for four years (thanks, spotrac) vs. the $2.7 million the Cowboys paid for Prescott during that same period. That’s a $24 million in rookie deal savings.
Now, clearly the Cowboys are the big winners out of the gate when it comes to what each team had to give up, but what about what these two have done on the field? Let’s check out a side-by-side comparison of these two quarterbacks and see who has the advantage in each category:
Wentz has been plagued by injuries throughout his short career, but now that Prescott has missed most of the 2020 season, he trails Dak by just one career start. However, in looking at these numbers, he trails Prescott in every category. To summarize, Prescott has...
- seven more wins
- 823 more passing yards
- nine more total touchdowns
- ten fewer interceptions
- 33 fewer sacks
- 24 fewer fumbles
- five more game-winning drives
- a higher completion percentage
- a higher quarterback rating
It’s clear that Prescott has been the better performer to this point in their careers, and to make things even murkier for the Eagles quarterback, he just got benched in favor of second-round pick Jalen Hurts. Wentz may not catch Dak in career starts this season, and our ol’ pals over at Bleeding Green Nation are ready to throw dirt on the idea of the Eagles playing Wentz ever again.
Many fans laughed when the Eagles used premium draft capital to take Hurts, but if things are going south for Wentz, that’s not so laughable now. Nobody knows how things will turn out for Hurts, but a reset at least gives them a chance at a fresh start.
However, the downside to all this is just how financially committed they are to Wentz. In the offseason last year, the Eagles signed him to a four-year, $128 million extension adding on the years 2021-2024 to his contract before becoming a free agent in 2025. Wentz has yet to make it to any of those four years, and if the Eagles choose to part ways with him soon, it’s going to be ridiculous expensive.
After the 2020 season, $59 million— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) November 29, 2020
After the 2021 season, $25 million
After the 2022 season, $15 million pic.twitter.com/I6Oe3ozRAC
Philadelphia is already in bad shape when it comes to their salary cap as they are over $63 million in the hole for the 2021 season. If the Eagles are truly better without Wentz, that’s a huge blemish for the financial wizardry of Howie Roseman.
One thing is certain in Dallas, the Cowboys are not better without Prescott. That has never been more evident than what we have witnessed this season. Check out how the offense slid from the higher ranks after Prescott was lost for the year:
Finding a good quarterback is not easy in this league, and this may be a new reality the Eagles are now faced with. But for Dallas, the search is over. The current season may be a wash without their star quarterback, but knowing the team should get Prescott back in 2021 will brighten our holiday spirits.